God Is The Hero, not Us

Scripture Focus: Job 34.34-37
34 “Men of understanding declare, 
wise men who hear me say to me, 
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge; 
his words lack insight.’ 
36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost 
for answering like a wicked man! 
37 To his sin he adds rebellion; 
scornfully he claps his hands among us 
and multiplies his words against God.” 

Reflection: God Is The Hero, not Us
By John Tillman

Elihu quotes arguments that the friends have made and questions them, “Do you think this is just?” (Job 35.2) Elihu challenges the friends as often as he challenges Job.

When I was a young man, I thought Elihu was, in a way, heroic. I saw in him a young man taking a stand against old ways of thinking and reaching out to Job in kindness, but that picture is not exactly right. Elihu’s arguments aren’t that different from the friends’ arguments. Even though he starts out with a promise to not be heavy-handed, eventually Elihu seems just as condemnatory towards Job as the others. At this point in the story, though, we want there to be a hero. We sense that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.

Duane Garrett, in his commentary on this section of Job says:

“As we progress through the Book of Job, we feel the same distress Elihu voiced. We are sure there is something wrong with Job’s comments but are aware that the three friends failed to answer him. We try to find an alternative answer…We thrash about for a solution much as Elihu did and repeat old arguments without knowing it. And if we are not careful, we fall into the same vain certainty. We think we are wiser than Job and his friends put together. Job and his friends were each wrong in his own way, but so are we. We need to hear the voice of God.” — The Poetic and Wisdom Books.” Holman Concise Bible Commentary.

Nobody’s perfect except God. That’s the most repeated argument Job’s debaters circle back to. We sense that Job needs a hero. Will it be the friends? No. Will it be Elihu? No. Every human hero fails.

The hero Job (and we) needed is coming—is here. God’s entrance is just around the corner, just around the bend, arriving in the next few turns of the page…in some ways, he is already here.

One of the deep mysteries of the Bible is that we are separated from God by our sins, yet he is with us and longing for us at the same time. The already and the not yet are side-by-side. God is the hero we all need and he is coming to us right where we are when we are ready to listen to him.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I will bear witness that the Lord is righteous; I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High. — Psalm 7.18

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Job 34 (Listen – 3:26)
Psalm 45 (Listen – 2:17)

Read more about When Nations Pray
Help us to incarnate a gospel that evangelizes and emancipates those in need as a real and relevant demonstration of our living Christ.

Read more about Christ, the True Hero
Our cultural “superhero” lens can cause us to see ourselves as the “hero” in biblical accounts.

Seeking Silence—Readers’ Choice

Selected by reader, Jon Polk, Hong Kong
In our hectic lives today, silence is rare. Can you remember the last time you sat for 15 minutes in silence to listen to the voice of God as this article suggests? I’m not sure I can either. This sad reality is to our detriment. We all need this reminder to put down the phone, turn off the news, shut down the browser and rediscover the spiritual discipline of silence. Not an empty silence, of course, but a silence that enables us to tune our hearts to listening close to the still, small voice of God.

Originally published, March 5, 2020, based on readings from Job 34 & 2 Corinthians 4.

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4.18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Reflection: Seeking Silence—Readers’ Choice
By Matt Tullos

The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. — Blaise Pascal

My wife and kids were away the night a violent thunderstorm hit our town and the electricity went out. At that moment I was watching a football game, scanning twitter, and listening to music.

When darkness arrived in a split second I realized that the battery on my iPhone was almost gone. A brief moment of panic ensued. I realized that in a matter of minutes I would be thrust into the lifestyle millions of people enjoyed in the 1800s!

The silence and lack of media connection was unnerving at first. It was then that I sensed the presence of God speaking to me about my addiction to noise. After 15 minutes I had rediscovered the beauty of silence.

These days, silence is something we must fight to achieve, but it is definitely worth the fight. The National Center of Biotechnology stated in a study that two minutes of silence is more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

However, this is not new knowledge for people of the Book. The Bible urges us to experience silence as a spiritual discipline.

Every day we are faced with the choice of constant communication, noise and blather or intentional, Jesus-focused silence.

Don’t wait for a power outage in order to spend time in silence. God might be trying to tell you something but all the ambient noise and entertainment leaves you deaf to His voice.
I believe we would be astounded by all God wants to say to us and yet He never gets a chance because of our preoccupation with news, messages, conversations and entertainment. Silence isn’t just golden, it is godly.

Ask yourself, “How am I seeking silence in my day?” and “Why is constant communication and auditory stimulation so addictive?”

Take time to spend 15 minutes in silence today. Allow God to speak into your soul.

Editor’s Note: Fasts of many different kinds are common during the Lenten season. In our modern world a fast from certain aspects of technology might be as important as any other type of fasting.

We pray that our fasting would not be merely self-improvement or self-fulfillment, but instead, a process of self-denial, seeking of God, and blessing of others. — John

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
The Lord lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation! — Psalm 18.46

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Lamentations 4 (Listen – 3:42)
Psalm 35 (Listen – 3:21)

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The Park Forum is grateful to our donors who enable us to provide short, smart, engaging, biblical content to people across the world for free with no ads.

Read more about From Silence, Peace
The God who turned his back, came back. He came to speak peace to the people who had chosen death instead of life.